Cast of Verdi’s opera, Aida. Picture: Supplied

If the offerings of local theatres in 2018 had you impressed, then 2019 is sure to leave you in a love-love relationship with some of our local theatres.

Starting the year in impressive fashion is the Theatre on the Square with an abridged version of Verdi’s opera, Aida. Under the direction of Greg Homann, the production is to be performed in 79 minutes, with a cast of two plus a pianist. 

A serious departure from a production that’s normally performed by a cast of 200 performers.

The Market Theatre will showcase the brilliance of acclaimed writer Niq Mhlongo’s work through an adaptation of one of his books in the production Nailed.

Created with the support of the Department of Arts and theatre’s incubator programme, Nailed will bring together some of theatre’s finest emerging young minds and some seasoned performers to tell a story about corruption, deceit, and hope in post-apartheid South Africa.

What is particularly intriguing to see is Khulu Skenjana, who has become a household name on television for portrayals of some of the most diabolical villains, in this production.

It will certainly be an experience seeing him on stage.

The musical Chicago will make its return to the stage in April at Montecasino. This story is based on real-life events dating back to the roaring 1920s and tells us about jazz slayer Roxie Hart, who shoots her lover and along with cell block rival, double-murderess Velma Kelly, they fight to keep from death row with the help of the smooth-talking lawyer, Billy Flynn.

Chicago, one of the more popular musicals in the world, has everything that makes Broadway and the West End great – a universal tale of fame, fortune and all that jazz; one showstopping song after another, including Razzle Dazzle; the sexiest, most sensational dancing and a sharply sophisticated set which incorporates the live orchestra.

To wrap up what will be a truly sensational year is SA’s queen of pantomime Janice Honeyman who will once again bring the heartwarming tale of Jack and the Beanstalk to life.

The last time the production was at the Joburg Theatre was in 2012, where the story of country boy Jack, the family cow, the magic beans, the
enormous beanstalk, the unfriendly giant and the enchanted goose that lays the golden eggs was told.

This return will feature in his pantomime debut as the villain; actor, comedian, writer, radio and TV host, director and painter Casper de Vries.
Casper’s breakthrough satirical play Hello South Africa / Hallo Suid-Afrika started his professional career in 1986.

He has since staged numerous one-man shows throughout South Africa, the Netherlands, Canada and even at the famed London Palladium. The four seasons of his CasperRasperShow on kykNET became extremely popular in the last decade.

De Vries received the Comics’ Choice Lifetime Achievement Award in 2015.

He has also starred in numerous movies, including Oh Shucks! Here Comes UNTAG, Soweto Green and Snaaks Genoeg. He currently hosts the
CasperRadioShow every Friday on Cliff Central.

Jack and the Beanstalk is presented by Joburg Theatre and executive producer Bernard Jay and will run at The Mandela stage from October 30 to
December 22.